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tv   Book Discussion on Top Down  CSPAN  January 1, 2014 7:55pm-8:01pm EST

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south. it was more than a regional phenomenon that anything else but you don't see that as much. i will tell you though, i am glad to see the republican party again, incorporated about it. in the 80s and 90s we were the party. from the deep south like i said joe scarborough, tom delay, newt gingrich, karl rove, george w. bush, the people that were driving the debate in our party were from the deep south. now you look at the people who are driving our debate, chris christie in new jersey. i don't think he's a moderate. scott walker in wisconsin. scott is obviously conservative guy but paul ryan of wisconsin. geographically we are starting to move north. ideologically i thought it was interesting when we saw kelly ayotte in new hampshire being one of the few people that stood up during the government shutdown saying enough is enough. you people are killing me up here. i was glad to see pat toomey
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take a couple of courageous stance is well on a lot of different issues. i think it's really good news that the republican party has broken out of my region and is now starting to influence elections in the northeast, the midwest and who knows maybe in the far west, and here is the thing. if we want to be a national party again, we are going to have to do that. in 2008/2009, 2010, there wasn't a single republican representing anybody in new england. hopefully we are turning that around because we need to be an international party again. it's not only good for republicans but good for the tea party set -- thank you very much. thank you guys. >> signing books. [applause] >> if we could be as orderly as possible.
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[inaudible conversations] >> he "top down" is the name of the book, a novel of the kennedy assassination and joining us is the author jim lehrer. mr. lehrer and novel about the kennedy assassination. >> that's right. it's based on an experience i had on november 22, 1963. i was a reporter for the dallas times which was the afternoon newspaper in dallas tonight had an experience on that day as did everyone else who was involved not only in the coverage but just involved with that day. it stuck in my head and in my craw for 50 years. i used it as a seed for a novel which is about the bubble top whether it was or was not at any given time on the presidential
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limousine that day and what consequences that might have had and particularly about his secret service agent who became overcome by guilt, a fictional secret service agent overcome by guilt over what happened that day so that's what it's all about. >> are you featured in the book is a reporter? >> some people have suggested that. the narrator is a reporter and he was a dallas newspaper reporter and on that day he did do exactly what i did with some modifications. after that it's strictly fiction. sure it's based on my experiences as a newspaper man in texas and a journalist generally but it's fiction. >> where were you that day? >> my assignment that day was the kennedys were only going to be in dallas for three hours. it was a noon event. i worked for that afternoon papers so that was a huge thing. the entire city staff was allowed in the coverage of the
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kennedys. it was the biggest story we had in dallas in a long time. my assignment was to cover the arrival at length field. the arrival of the kennedys and the departure of the motorcade and then stay there until he came back and then report on the departure. and as it turned out obviously i got the word in a restaurant at the airport after i had reported to every martial i knew about the departure i had lunch with other guys. a waitress came in screaming and crying and said oh my said oh my godbey shot kennedy and connolly too. i ran to the phone and they tell me to go to parkland hospital in the police station. that was my day and for the next several months i did nothing but the investigation stories. >> riding "top down," was a cathartic coax. >> you now i think it was. i hadn't intended it to be.
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i wasn't thinking in cathartic terms and certainly wasn't thinking at of it in 50th anniversary turns. the book could have come out earlier but it was a story i wanted to tell and i always wanted to tell it and i decided it was time to tell it. maybe i will think about your question later and come up with an answer later. i didn't see it as cathartic when the road it and didn't see it as cathartic when it was published but maybe it was. >> this is your 15th book collects 15th book? >> no, no this is my 21st novel, 24th book. >> how a semiretirement for you? >> retirement is a word that doesn't mean anything to me. i am as busy now as i ever was. i just don't do the nightly show anymore and that's like saying i don't get wet when it rains anymore. every day no matter what at 6:00 eastern time i woulde

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